"The Supreme Court earlier this year asked the government to include delay as a criteria in deciding the mercy petition of a death row convict."
New Delhi, July 20 - Mercy petitions of six convicts, including Surendra Koli who was found guilty in the Nithari serial rapes and killings, have been rejected by President Pranab Mukherjee following recommendations from the home ministry, officials said.
Koli was handed the death sentence for luring and brutally killing young children in Nithari area of Noida in 2005-2006.
The Supreme Court had upheld the sentence in February 2011.
The Nithari killings pertain to the horrific discovery in December 2006 of human body parts in a drain behind a bungalow in Noida. The remains were of 19 young women and children from Nithari village, who were allegedly raped and killed by Koli in the bungalow belonging to his employer Moninder Singh Pandher.
Koli was given the death sentence in some cases while some others are still under trial.
Sources said Sunday that apart from Koli, mercy pleas of Jagdish from Madhya Pradesh, Renukabai, Seema and Rajendra Pralhadrao Wasnik from Maharashtra and Holiram Bordoloi from Assam have been rejected following recommendations of the home ministry.
All of them have been convicted in murder cases.
The Supreme Court earlier this year asked the government to include delay as a criteria in deciding the mercy petition of a death row convict.
It had held that mercy petitions could be disposed of at a much faster pace than what is adopted now and no time limit being prescribed for disposal of the mercy petition should compel the government to work in a more systematic manner to repose the confidence of the people in the institution of democracy.